Many Bible skeptics regard Genesis 1–11 as mythical, copied from Enuma Elish, the Epic of Gilgamesh, and other such ancient writings—so not only is it a primitive myth, it’s not a particularly original one, in their view. We’ve often written about the characteristics of Genesis that show it claims to record history.
Sadly many believers have bought into these interpretations, but as Christians, aren’t we supposed to believe what Jesus did? And it’s easy to extend that to believing what the apostles that He appointed and inspired by the Holy Spirit to author Scripture believed as well. If Christians don’t believe the Bible, in what sense are they ‘Christ followers’? So let’s look at what Jesus believed and what the New Testament tells us about the circumstances surrounding Noah’s Flood.
The world at the time of Noah
In Noah’s day, Jesus tells us that people were going about conducting ‘business as usual’ until the Flood came: “in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away” (Matthew 24:38–39). But it wasn’t a pleasant place to live—the culture was so immoral that Peter called it “the world of the ungodly” (κοσμῳ ἀσεβῶν, kosmō asebōn, 2 Peter 2:5). There were even angels who sinned at that time (2 Peter 2:4) by deserting their proper positions (Jude 1:11). While the New Testament doesn’t specify exactly what this sin was, it fits in nicely with the assertion in Genesis 6 that the ‘sons of God’ took wives among the ‘daughters of men’—in other words, angels taking human wives1 and fathering the Nephilim.